The Royal Navy in the Cold War Years, 1966-1990

Retreat and Revival

  • Subject: Spring 2024 Catalog | Royal Navy | Cold War | Strategy
  • Format:
  • Pages:
  • Illustrations:
    75 B/W Photos, 25 Color Photos
  • Published:
    June 15, 2024
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Product Dimensions:
    9.22 × 6.14 × 1 in
  • Product Weight:
    24 oz
Hardcover $70.00
Member Price $42.00 Save 40%
Book: Cover Type


The Royal Navy in the Cold War Years, 1966–1990: Retreat and Revival is the first book to cover this subject in depth for more than thirty years. With unique access to primary, archival sources, Edward Hampshire offers important and fascinating insights into the naval dimension of the Cold War. 
During the period covered by this new book the Royal Navy faced some of its greatest challenges, both at sea confronting the increasingly capable and impressive Soviet Navy, and on shore when it faced policy crises that threatened the survival of much of the fleet. During this remarkable period, the Navy had rarely been so focused on a single theater of war–the Eastern Atlantic–but also rarely so politically vulnerable. 
The author sets out to analyze shadowing operations and confrontations at sea with Soviet ships and submarines; the Navy’s role in the enormous NATO and Warsaw Pact naval exercises that acted out potential war scenarios; individual operations from the Falklands and the 1990–91 Gulf War to the Beira and Armilla patrols; the development of advanced naval technologies to counter Soviet capabilities; policy-making controversies as the three services fought for resources–including the controversial 1981 Nott defense review; and what life was like in the Cold War navy for ratings and officers. The book, the first to cover this subject in depth for more than thirty years, will make use of the full range of archival sources that have been publicly available over the last two decades, but of which little use has been made by historians. 

This work is destined to become a definitive naval history of the period. It also provides a fascinating and gripping narrative of a navy under threat from many directions but which survived and eventually prospered, winning a remarkable victory in the far South Atlantic more than seven thousand from its expected battleground in the North Atlantic. Written for a wide audience, this book will appeal to professional and enthusiast alike. 

About the Author